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Advantages of Flying Spheres for AWE

1) Self Relaunch- The Flying Sphere Kiteplane rolls like a ball self-orienting for self relaunch.

2) Snag Resistance- A Flying Sphere does not have any projections to snag on kitelines. Even a motor/generator turbine is well contained within the protective ring wings.

3) High Structural Integrity- No cantilevered wings and a strong compression ball geometry allow for a lighter airframe.

3) Favorable Flight Dynamics- Ultra-stable flight with plenty of balanced side area to fly sideways. 2-channel elevon control.

4) High Wing Area with Reasonable L/D- Proper kites need lots of wing surface. Good ring wings have low induced drag. Care must be taken to minimize interference drag at wing junctions. The best Robot Group Flying Spheres had L/D > 8.

5) Suited for Arrays- The hollow center allows optimal bridling for kite trains. Snag Resistance (2) is a special array kite virtue.

A disadvantage to Flying Spheres for AWE is the relatively greater airframe complexity compared to classic kite types. They also do not easily close-pack for shipping or storage unless designed to somehow collapse like Prism's box kites.

CoolIP                       ~Dave Santos                 2Nov2011          AWE4639

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